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Conditions imposed on Cook Strait ferry operators

03 May 2005

Conditions imposed on Cook Strait ferry operators

The Maritime Safety Authority (MSA) has imposed new conditions on all Cook Strait ferry operators.

From 9am tomorrow morning all ferries will be required to implement a non-negotiable manning regime that requires extra crew to be on the bridge and in the engine room while vessels are in Wellington Harbour, the Marlborough Sounds and its approaches and when operating in Cook Strait in times of restricted visibility.

In addition, the MSA will be increasing the amount of announced and unannounced inspections carried out on ferry operators, checking vessels while on passage as well as when in port.

“We are concerned at the recent spate of incidents involving Cook Strait ferries,” says MSA Director Russell Kilvington.

“It’s time to restore public confidence in the operations by building in extra safety margins and by increasing MSA’s level of vigilance.

“Following last night’s tragedy we have moved immediately to put extra safety measures in place on all ferries while we undertake a long-term review of operations.

“We have already done a huge amount of work with ferry operators, dedicated to improving safety.

“These new measures will complement this work and the investigations into incidents that are yet to be completed.

“New Zealanders expect the very highest of safety levels on our ferries and it’s our job to make sure that all operators provide them.”

ENDS

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